Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a 3DS remake of the Japanese-exclusive Fire Emblem Gaiden for the NES. It releases in Japan on 20th April 2017 and the rest of the world on 19th May 2017.
Although the story and core gameplay is identical to Gaiden, the game has been redesigned from the ground up, featuring new 3D graphics, streamlined gameplay, artwork by Hidari and animated cutscenes by Studio Khara.
The continent of Valentia is divided into two halves–the Rigelian Empire to the north and the Kingdom of Zofia to the south. The two nations have co-existed for centuries, but the fragile peace is about to shatter.
Alm and Celica are two friends who spent their childhood days together, but now live far apart. Unbeknownst to them, they share a common fate, just as they share a mysterious birthmark on their hands.
As Valentia threatens to be swallowed by the flames of war, the pair stand at the crossroads of destiny. With thoughts of the other deep in their hearts, they fight for the sake of peace and justice.
Although Fire Emblem has featured multiple protagonists before, Gaiden was the first to implement this concept–and in a very unique manner as well. The same experience will be available in Echoes.
Alm and Celica travel across Valentia separately and each have their own parties. At first, players only control Alm or Celica. Later on, both will be available and you can freely swap between their parties on the world map.
A Unique Fire Emblem Experience
Like many of Nintendo’s early sequels, Gaiden wasn’t shy about deviating from conventional Fire Emblem gameplay–and Echoes has made sure to continue its legacy.
That said, Gaiden–and Echoes by extension–is the only game to feature explorable dungeons (now in full 3D), overlapping protagonists and magic that costs HP to cast. Besides that, there are lots of gameplay nuances.
New to Echoes
As with recent Fire Emblem remakes, Echoes doesn’t just borrow everything from its predecessor. When you start the game, there’s a brand new prologue that explores Alm and Celica’s childhood days.
On top of that, there are new recruitable characters, like Faye the female villager, and even new villains, such as Berkut the imperial-blood Rigelian commander. Plus new gameplay elements, which includes a provisions system and item-based skills.